Using watersheds as our basic geographic unit has helped conservation of rivers and their drainage basins. Assigning values to different parts of watersheds will let us set priorities that will make our watershed stewardship even more effective.
The higher priority previously given to downstream sections of watersheds by flood control programs is not effective [...]
Science in Canadian Culture
Across Anglophone Canada, science has not been integrated into our culture. In Québec, science has been integral to the culture from the time of early settlement. Work by Frère Marie Victorin (1885-1944) is an outstanding example.
Today and for some decades, Québec Science has been a viable magazine for any Québecois interested in [...]
Millponds: Nostalgic or Obsolete?
A few decades ago millponds and millstreams were subjects for painters of bucolic landscapes. They also were power sources vital to local economies. Over time they have lost their economic role and their beauty is stained by their destruction of valuable habitats.
Most of the small dams holding back ponds in our [...]
In today’s green discussions by politicians and the media, more and more, the sole focus seems to be on global climate change and thus on use of energy.
It has been a battle to get climate change recognized and it is an important focal point but it is not the only issue. Global change [...]
British Columbia taxpayers have paid about $250,000 to fight the invasion of bullfrogs in the Osoyoos region of southern B.C. Estimates for control programs for the entire province run into the tens of millions.
Why get rid of bullfrogs? They are not native to B.C. and they are eating the young of all the native [...]
Ecological Connectivity — Some Basics.
Simply adding or identifying “corridors” does not necessarily achieve connectivity. Connectivity is a measure of how well organisms can move through the landscape. The spatially mappable connections in the landscape are better referred to as connectedness and do not necessarily indicate connectivity.
The objective of conserving or repairing connectivity is to ensure [...]
Science and Aesthetics in Conservation
Conservationists have struggled for decades to put their recommendations and management practices onto a sound and transparent scientific basis. The thought was that both government bodies and the public were more likely to apply the results of conservation research if results had the blessing of science.
In mid-July we returned to the coastal mainland of the low arctic at Bathurst Inlet. We had visited eight years earlier. In 2004 I rationalized the trip to celebrate successful recovery from cardiac surgery. This time, I composed a complicated birthday celebration. It was a week past my 80th and six months past Aileen’s 80th [...]
There is nothing like the Great Bear Rainforest in the east but it should be treasured by all Canadians. The forest is a temperate rainforest – one of the largest temperate rainforests in the world. About 25,000 square miles, larger than Switzerland by half, of misty, rainy hemlock, western red cedar and yew. This is [...]
In today’s green discussions by politicians, the main focus seems to be, more and more, on global climate change and thus on use of energy.
It has been a battle to get climate change recognized and it is an important focal point but it is only the top layer of an integrated chain of issues. Global [...]